Why creativity is the key to unlocking growth in 2023

Anastasia LengWith economic uncertainty likely to dominate the next 12 months, the big issue – now, more than ever – for marketers is how can they get their budgets to stretch even further, while making their campaigns more effective?

While the past three IPA Bellwether Reports have shown sustained marketing budget growth, a recession on the horizon is likely to force brands to slash costs; analysis from ISBA cites 69% of those responsible for advertising spend said that this year’s decision making is influenced by the recession, and 39% plan to decrease their offline media spend.

But before taking a knife to budgets, brands first need to put a microscope on efficiencies within their existing media investment and improve processes to get the most bang for their buck. As it stands, marketers are wasting millions in ineffective advertising spend by running tens of thousands of ads that don’t even meet platform best practices.

The antidote to weakened budget growth is to embrace innovation when it comes to measuring media efficiencies, and establishing basic creative principles – such as logo inclusion or incorporation of subtitles – is an easy starting point.

Together, these principles make up the creative quality score (CQS) – a KPI that has been linked to improved media efficiency, like cheaper CPMs and cost-per-completed-view. A baseline CQS will identify what works and what doesn’t work and allow brands to adjust their approach accordingly based on hard facts. Brands should view upcoming economic uncertainty as an opportunity to rethink their processes and build long term resilience.

AI will inform new data exploration in a recession
In 2023, marketers will be expected to do more with less which is why new technology, especially that which can drive efficiency, will have a breakthrough. Marketers can benefit from the insight they are all currently sitting on in the form of creative data. This is a collection of thousands of data points that can now be extracted from millions of image and video ads thanks to advancements in artificial intelligence and machine learning technology.

Creative data allows brands to gain a true understanding of what is driving success. With that insight, they can interpret, quantify, improve, and scale the quality of their content in realtime. Getting creative right – with the help of creative data – will ensure ads are landing with relevant audiences and stop brands from wasting millions in ineffective ad spend.

Building high quality creative at scale is now a strategic imperative
This year Netflix will launch its new subscription plan, bringing ads on the platform for the first time, while Walmart has already added streaming services, and Amazon has piloted TikTok-style ads.

The proliferation and fragmentation of media channels will only increase in 2023, offering huge opportunities for brands to catch the attention of new audiences, but this content must work harder than ever to succeed.

Creative is the only lever left to pull that has meaningful advantages and gains to be made. All others, from media to targeting and measurement, have been exhausted.

And this problem is only going to get worse as the changes made by market giants give people unprecedented control and choice over what they want to consume. Every day brands don’t act, is a day they get further left behind.

Anastasia Leng is founder and CEO of CreativeX

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